Laura Grant dedicated her life helping care for others.
Now that she’s gone, killed in what friends describe as a “senseless act of violence,” her coworkers are stepping up to make sure that care continues for the person who mattered most to Grant — her granddaughter Zoe.
A GoFundMe Campaign, launched by women who worked with her at the Mississauga Ambulance Communications Centre, is gathering funds to support the three-year-old who Grant was helping raise. More than $9,300 has been collected so far.
“I think because Laura was part of our family and she was going to take care of Zoe for her life, now that she can’t do it, we have to do it,” explained Sharon Edgar, who worked with Grant for 17 years.
“We owe that to her.”
Colleagues bringing food, covering shifts
Grant was killed in a shooting at her Burlington home on August 21. Police have arrested her husband, 57-year-old Kenneth Soederhuysen, for first-degree murder.
It’s a death that hit the close-knit world of first responders hard, and left many looking for ways to recognize Grant’s decades of service.
In recent days, ambulance communications officers have been called in from different locations to help cover shifts for Grant’s colleagues so they can take the time they need to recover, according to Amanda Penney, who worked closely with Grant for 10 years.
Paramedics have also stopped by to drop off food and coffee, or to share stories about Grant.
“Everyone has just kind of become a family, checking on each other constantly,” Penney added.
Fund for Zoe
That theme of family is part of the reason they’re so motivated to make sure Zoe is cared for.
Edgar, who has a grandchild of her own, says Grant shared joint-custody of Zoe with the little girl’s father.
The care Grant poured into her job as a dispatcher and the support she was always willing to led her coworkers was reflected in the love she showed for her granddaughter.
“She saved a lot of people and she impacted a lot of lives,” said Edgar, fighting back tears. “If the last thing we can do for her is make sure her granddaughter is taken care of then that’s what we have to do.”
“Zoe really was the light of her life,” she said, adding Grant spent almost all of her days off with the three-year-old.
“She was the mother figure to Zoe,” Penney added.
“We just want to make sure Zoe has everything Laura would have wanted to give her, that she’s not going to need or want for anything.”